Was 2018 going to be YOUR year? Did you have a list as long as your arm of all the new habits you were going to add to your routine, and of all of the habits you were going to break? You aren't alone. A January 2018 study conducted and published by Statistic Brain Research Institute in the USA, showed that of the people surveyed, 58% make New Year's resolutions and of that only 9% say that they achieve them. That's some pretty bad odds for anyone set on making changes straight after New Year's Eve!
Now, of those resolutions, it wouldn't surprise anyone to know that the biggest percentage of resolutions set focused on weight loss, healthy eating, and fitness. January traditionally sees the highest number of memberships sold in health and fitness facilities around the globe, as thousands flock to make those resolutions a reality. However, by 1st February, the good intentions have seemingly faded away and many gyms are quiet once again. If this sounds like the story of your 2018 so far, don't despair, all is not lost! You can still achieve those health and fitness goals you set but with these few tips, maybe they can stick well and truly into 2019!
- Go slow! Most people get so excited by their goals, that they commit to their new health and fitness routine 100% without margin or room for error. This approach usually means that at the first sign of trouble, all is out the window! If you are starting from minimal exercise, the worst thing that you can do is throw yourself into physical activity every day of the week. Sure, that can be your goal for the full year, but is something that you have to gradually work towards between now and December 31st. Maybe start with training two days a week, then after two months step up to three days, then four, and so on. This way, you are creating sustainable habits slowly and allowing for days or weeks when life may get in the way of your training.
- Don't give up! If life does get in the way of your training, that's ok! Even when you do have a consistent exercise habit of 7 days a week, there will be some weeks when it is impossible to do something every day. While you are building up to your fitness goal, don't be hard on yourself if you miss a day (or two), or a session here and there. This is normal. All you have to do is pick up from where you left off, with no guilt attached, and be proud of the steps you have taken and will continue to take to achieve your new lifestyle!
- Do exercise that you love! Yes, there are likely to be elements of your training plan that you don't enjoy, but if you can use the 80/20 principle and spend 80% of your exercise time doing activities that you really love and 20% of the time doing other activities, you will then be much more likely to stick to your new plans. It's no use planning on running with your friend who loves running 5 days of the week, when you hate running and far prefer going to spin classes at your local gym. Swap it around to prioritise your preferences, and you will be much more likely to stick at it. Once you find the right sport or training method for you, you should be looking forward to that alarm going off in the morning or heading to that session after work, rather than dreading it!
By picking up and dusting off your resolutions later in the year and following these simple strategies, you might find that 2019 starts differently than it ever has before, with you being part of that 9% who achieved their new year's resolution (even if the road was a little bumpy along the way!).
Written by Alexandra Anasson.
Alexandra Anasson is the director of Boroondara's most awarded fitness studio - Vision Personal Training Hawthorn. Celebrating their 5th birthday in 2018, Vision PT Hawthorn has helped to transform hundreds of lives in the local community and is excited to continue it's tenure as the premier provider of health and fitness results in the local area for many years to come.
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